Malacañang opens gates to Muslim brothers Thursday for the signing of comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro with MILF

March 26, 2014 9:40 am 

MANILA, March 25 — Malacañang grounds will be opened once again to our Muslim brothers on Thursday, March 27, for the signing of yet another historic agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Members of the both the government and MILF peace panels are expected to come and sign the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), and even representatives from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have been invited, thus signifying the Aquino administration’s sincerity toward achieving peace with peoples of the Islamic faith.

GPH-MILF peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said MNLF central committee chairman Abul Khayr Alonto, who replaced erstwhile leader Nur Misuari, was invited to witness the momentous occasion.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles also said they have invited Jimmy Labawan, who served as vice chairman of the MNLF central committee under Misuari, to represent the latter but his attendance has not yet been confirmed.

Former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, who heads another MNLF-associated group, was invited as well though it is unlikely that he can make it to the event owing to a bad road accident he had recently.

“We made sure that representatives from the different factions that have been open to government are invited. I am having the follow-up done but there are… At least from the three most known groupings, plus the so-called independents, are also invited. I think all in all (there are) a total of around 20 representatives. The invitations are being followed up now,” Deles told reporters at a press conference.

The signing will take place around 4:00 p.m. at the Palace grounds to be witnessed by over 1,000 people. Deles explained they have chosen Malacañang as venue because, logistically, it would be much easier to travel to Manila.

“The sealing of the comprehensive agreement is important, not only for the Bangsamoro, the people of Mindanao, [but] all other Filipino citizens, who have all to gain as one country pursuing its unfinished task of nation building,” Ferrer said.

Eighteen months since the accomplishment of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the government peace panel has produced four annexes, one addendum, and five terms of reference en route to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The said agreement basically puts together all the previously signed documents between the government and the MILF, reiterating the principles of the negotiation, namely recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people;

Their aspiration for a meaningful autonomy through a democratic process; the aim of finding a solution to the Bangsamoro question with honor, justice, and dignity; the aim to end the fighting between the government and the MILF and promote peace and stability;

The recognition of the responsibilities of the parties to protect and enhance the rights of the Bangsamoro people and all other inhabitants, correct historical injustice, and equitably diffuse wealth and political power. (PNA)

SCS/PCOO/UTB

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